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Mark BrazaitisMark Brazaitis is the author of eight books, including The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala, winner of the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award, The Incurables: Stories, winner of the 2012 Richard Sullivan Prize and the 2013 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award in Prose, and Julia & Rodrigo, winner of the 2012 Gival Press Novel Award. His latest book, The Rink Girl: Stories, won the 2018 Prize Americana (Hollywood Books). He wrote the script for the award-winning Peace Corps film How Far Are You Willing to Go to Make a Difference? Brazaitis’ writing has been featured on the Diane Rehm Show and the Leonard Lopate Show as well as on public radio in Cleveland, Iowa City, New York City, and Pittsburgh. A former Peace Corps Volunteer and technical trainer, he is a professor of English at West Virginia University.

Jordan Carter

Jordan Carter received her MFA in Fiction from West Virginia University where she served as the Fiction Editor for Cheat River Review and as the Assistant to the Director of the West Virginia Writers' Workshop. Her short story "Nymphs" is the second-place winner of the West Virginia Fiction Competition and appears in The Anthology of Appalachian Writers.  Her academic research explores power and privilege relations and the ways in which these shape identity positions in Appalachia and beyond. In Fall of 2019, she served as a teaching assistant for an Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program course at SCI Fayette, where she is currently a member of the Appalachian Community Think Tank. She teaches composition and creative writing.

Patricia Henley 2020 Updated PhotoPatricia Henley’s first novel, Hummingbird House, was a finalist for the 1999 National Book Award and The New Yorker Best Fiction Book Award. Henley has also written two books of poetry, Learning to Dieand Back Roads, and four story collections: Friday Night at Silver Star,which won the 1985 Montana Arts Council First Book Award; The Secret of CartwheelsWorship of the Common Heart: New and Selected Stories; and Other Heartbreaks. Her stories have been published in such magazines as The Atlantic Monthly, Ploughshares, The Missouri Review, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, and Northwest Review, and anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize anthology. For 27 years she taught in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Purdue University. She lives in Frostburg, Maryland.

Erin MurphyErin Murphy is the author or editor of eleven books, including her eighth book of poems, Human Resources, forthcoming from Salmon Poetry, and Assisted Living, a collection of demi-sonnets, a form she devised. Her most recent edited anthologies are Creating Nonfiction (SUNY Press)—winner of the Gold Medal in the 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award—and Bodies of Truth, a collection of narrative medicine essays (University of Nebraska Press). Her individual poems and essays have appeared in The Georgia ReviewFieldBrevityThe Normal SchoolWomen’s Studies QuarterlysubtropicsNorth American ReviewSouthern Indiana Review180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day edited by Billy Collins, The Art of Losing edited by Kevin Young, and The Writer’s Almanac. Her awards include the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, the Foley Poetry Award, the National Writers’ Union Poetry Award judged by Donald Hall, a Best of the Net award, and The Normal School Poetry Prize judged by Nick Flynn. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is Professor of English and creative writing at the Pennsylvania State University, Altoona College, where she has received the Athleen J. Stere Teaching Award, the Grace D. Long Faculty Excellence Award, and the university-wide Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching. She serves as the Poetry Editor of The Summerset Review.

Ann PancakeAnn Pancake’s first novel, Strange As This Weather Has Been (Counterpoint  2007), was one of Kirkus Review’s Top Ten Fiction Books of 2007, won the 2007 Weatherford Prize, and was a finalist for the 2008 Orion Book Award and the 2008 Washington State Book Award.  Her collection of short stories, Given Ground (University Press of New England, 2001), won the 2000 Bakeless award  She has also received a Whiting Award, an NEA grant, and a Pushcart Prize. Her fiction and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies like Orion, The Georgia Review, Poets and Writers, and New Stories from the South, the Year’s Best.  A new story collection, Me and My Daddy Listen to Bob Marley, was published in 2015. 

Natalie Sypolt

Natalie Sypolt lives and writes in West Virginia. She received her MFA in fiction from West Virginia University and currently teaches writing and literature. Her work has appeared in Glimmer Train, Kenyon Review Online, Willow Springs Review, Appalachian Heritage and other literary journalsNatalie serves as a literary editor for the Anthology of Appalachian Writers and runs the high school portion of the West Virginia Writers Workshop. Her first book, The Sound of Holding Your Breath, came out in November 2018 from West Virginia University Press